You Have the Gift of Excellence. Share the Gift.
Over the past two weeks, Cabrini College has been honored to host some impressive people on campus who have earned some remarkable achievements in life.
We hosted Sonia Nazario, international best-selling author of “Enrique’s Journey.” Then Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, who spent an entire day on campus and celebrated Mass in our Chapel.
And just this week, we welcomed back our 2012 Commencement Speaker, J. Eustace Wolfington and his family, when we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Wolfington Center.
They are impressive people whose career and life achievements are remarkable. So when they visited, we made sure they felt honored and that each guest knew how much we appreciated having them here. Yes, we rolled out the red carpet with our famous Cabrini hospitality.
We honored them, as we honor you today. We honored them because they have achieved excellence, as you have achieved academic excellence.
We honored them because just like you, they worked hard and pushed themselves to excel and use their god-given talents to the fullest, but that is only half the story.
We honored them not just because they achieved excellence, but because they achieved excellence in working for the benefit of others and in sharing their gifts and talents.
We honored these specific individuals because they are role models who exemplify Cabrini College’s motto—Beneficium Supra Seipsum—Service Beyond One’s Self.
Sonia Nazario won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and she won that prestigious award by turning the story of immigration from a political story into a real-life story.
That story opened hearts and minds by placing a real, human face on the immigrant’s journey and the toll that journey takes not just on an individual but on an entire family, culture, and country.
Cardinal Mahony is the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles and for over fifty years he has been the leading Christian advocate of immigrant’s rights and desperately needed immigration reform. He speaks poignantly about our moral responsibility to advocate for immigrants and refugees living in the shadows of society.
Now in his retirement, he is committed to reaching all students at Catholic colleges and universities. In addition to presenting the facts and figures about current immigration trends, he reminds us that we are all immigrants as documented in Sacred Scripture. Just consider the refugee flight to Egypt of Joseph and Mary with the infant Jesus.
J .Eustace Wolfington was an innovative leader in the auto industry and in other successful businesses. His life story is powerful and he openly shares his love of family and God, and his special devotion to Mother Cabrini and the Sacred Heart.
In addition to family and his Church, he says his greatest accomplishment is supporting Catholic social justice initiatives and programs.
You look at each of these people and you see achievements and excellence. Success used not for personal gain and glory, but for the betterment of their neighbor and the world.
Looking at each of you, I see the extraordinary things that you already do and the endless possibilities that await you.
I see students who are blessed with many gifts. I see young women and men maturing into engaged citizens of the world with a profound concern for their fellow human being.
As you move through your educational journey here at Cabrini, please continue to dedicate yourself to excellence in all you do. May Cabrini’s “Education of the Heart” provide you with a journey that enlightens your mind, touches your heart, extends your hands and gives you voice.
As you continue to achieve excellence, I pray you become leaders for change in a world that desperately needs you.
When you do, you will find that all the success you achieve in life will be even more fulfilling than you could have ever dreamed. And when those times of doubt or struggle arise, recall as Mother Cabrini did that you can do all things through the Lord who strengthens you.
Looking to your futures, I firmly believe that you will enjoy a rewarding life and, just like recent honorees, serve as role models for future Cabrini students by exemplifying Beneficium Supra Seipsum, Service Beyond One’s Self.
Congratulations and God Bless. Thank you,
Marie Angelella George, Ph.D., President September 22, 2012